The other day something really fun was delivered to my doorstep. A roll of my first ever printed yardage fabric! With the help of a fabric pattern designer friend who prints her fabrics a couple of times a year asked if I wanted to hop on the train this time and try it out to print some of my patterns too. I didn't really have a plan for the fabric at first and needed to think about it for a couple of days. Should I do this investment or not? It wasn't a big one, but still. I'd like to focus on the right things for my business and not be all over the place. But this opportunity was just to fun and exciting to miss, so I decided to just go ahead and then make plans for what I should do with it afterwards.
Well that turned out not to be very difficult. Once I had ordered and sent my print file all kinds of ideas of opportunities this would provide popped up in my head. From my own sewing projects with this fabric, to selling it by the yardage or have it turned into different products and sell.
I chose to print the pattern design I call Simply Lavish from a pattern collection I'm working on that's called Celebration. A lot of the patterns in this collection is made of water color doodles and paintings - Simply Lavish is one of them.
The print turned out pretty good I think. A tiny bit darker than the original, but only the slightest.
And here's the first sewing project made with my Simply Lavish fabric, which by the way is now available in my webshop.
Simply Lavish skirt
I chose to make a skirt for my first sewing project with this fabric. I wanted to make this type of vintage dirndl kind of model, because it's so pretty and also quite easy to make and you can use it to both dressed up as well as casual occasions.
I had actually taken a Skillshare class about making this type of skirt, by Allie Jackson - who by the way is one of the most fun and sweetest sewists out there in my opinion. I warmly recommend to follow her on Instagram if you like to sew too.
So the first step, actually the most boring one, was to cut off the length I needed for my skirt and wash it. But it looked pretty hanging to dry on our starcase :-)
Next step was to cut out all the pattern pieces, which for this model is very easy, you just need 2 or 3 panels of the fabric and I used 2 since this fabric is 137 cm wide which was enough for 2 panels. I also needed a wastband and interfacing fusing web for the waistband and where the zipper would be sewn.
For the wastband I measured around my waist, added 4 centimeters for sewing allowance and another 5 cm for an overlap for the hook and bow.
I the skirt panels I measured from the waist down to how long I wanted the skirt to be, just beneath the knee, which was about 60 cm, then added another 12 cm for the hem. Then I just tore off the two panels and the piece for the waistband.
I also added another detail, not included in Allies Skillshare class. I wanted to have side pockets, and used a pair of shorts to make the pattern pieces for them. For the pockets I then used a coordinating fabric that I had ordered from Spoonflower - Corset Stitch in the pink color way (Colonial Inn pattern collection).
Then it was time to fuse the interfacing into place - the waistband and where the zipper would be attached.
I used just a regular fusing web, about the same weight as the fabric.
And then it was just all about sewing the edges together.
Another change that I made to the original instructions is that I split the back panel in half, so that I could have the zipper in the center back and not in one of the sides.
The two back panels were sewn together all the way up, but where the zipper would go I used the longest stitch on my mashine to make a baste stitch, that after pressing would be removed. In this way you get a nice and neat folding along your zipper edges.
Next step was to sew the zipper in place by hand to get this really crafted, couture look.
Making the gathering of the skirt was probably the most fun step in this project. I did what Allie suggested and made three rows of baste stitch for the gathering which makes the gathers much more even and provides it from twisting when you start pulling the strings.
It was quite tricky with the pockets, since I hade to come up with the solutions myself, but after a couple of trials and errors I made them work pretty well. A lesson though for the next skirt is to make bigger pockets and pocket holes, and also make them much further down the sides.
Then it was time to attach the waistband and hand sew the hem. The last step was to attach the hook and bow on the waist band.
I'm really happy with the result and can't wait to start with another project. Well, I have a whole roll to use...
If you would like to use the Simply Lavish fabric for your sewing project too, just hop over to my web shop where you can order it by the meter. The fabric is 137 cm wide (about 53 inches) and 100% cotton.